Sunday, August 06, 2006

YOUniversal pubished an article 'Youniversal Branding' [Part 1] in June. It was quite interesting one -- once again focusing on communities and the will to participate and share own opinions / own creations etc. According to that article: 'Gaming's great benefit for gamers is escapism, within an alternate reality. Gamers all over the world are looking for the same thing: escapism -- the opportunity to participate in an alternative reality. Withtin this alternative reality, fundamental human desires are satisfied -- the drive to explore, with the promise of reward' (Mediaedge:cia).

'Gaming, whether online, mobile or console-based, lets players be a part of the storyline and live in an alternative reality. It allows the player an experience that generated real emotions.' This type of opinions highlight (at least I think they do) the great distance between 'spectators' (READ: adult) opinion' and 'participants opinion'. Many online gamers or chatters consolidate their presence, their opinions and their position in the real world through online communities. One plays with her/his virtual identities, one may establish her/his self-esteem and one just hangs around at the virtual communities. It is not about alternative reality, it is about extensions of real life reality. Habbo Hotel, IRC or Lineage might be just an additional way to communicate and spend time with friends. It is not about escaping the REAL world, it is about creating different ways to communicate with friends. For some the Internet offers excellent -- ADDITIONAL -- channels to share the hidden secrets with friends. Some young have said that they spend a lot of time with their friends IRL and at online worlds but they speak about different issues online than IRL. And some issues discussed online will not be discussed offline. I think (in one way) this highlight the very essence and role of online communities not as an alternative reality but as a part of 'the real world'.

The point of the article was that one should utilise this new consumerism (e.g. proam, prosumer) movement when branding online products. In-game advertising is expected to reach US$ 732 mln by 2010 (Yankee Group) and more than 100 million people worldwide log on every month to play interactive computer games (NYT, Dec2005). 60% of trendsetters and 33% of mainstream 14-34 year olds have a social networking page (TrendCentral, May2006). How about that?!

If you are into online communities and branding / marketing, you should check the article but also websites like:
Read the rest from:

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